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Right whales, on the verge of extinction

There are only 450 free whales in the North Atlantic and only 100 are female offspring.


The right whales of the North Atlantic owe their name, original of the English Right Whale , for being a “correct” species or appropriate and easy to hunt. Their  friendly nature makes them approach the boats and, in turn, allow the boats to approach them. In this way, the main threats to these animals are the loss of habitat, anthropic disturbances (caused by humans), entanglement in fishing nets and collisions with boats.

During the spring and summer seasons they frequent the waters of Canada and New England, where precisely all the deaths of this last year have occurred, to feed after childbirth in warmer areas at low latitude.

“You have to use the word of extinction because that’s where the trend lines say they are,” said John Bullard, Regional Administrator of Noaa Fisheries. “That’s something we can not allow to happen.”

It is estimated that females are the most affected and there are only 100 offspring of this genus. To this must be added the aggravating circumstance that, by nature, the female right whales of the North Atlantic only give birth every 3 or 4 years.

A fight that does not stop

The right whales of the North Atlantic lived a similar context at the beginning of the 20th century. However, the current indices are not better, and reveal that their status has only worsened.

The poor reproduction and the high mortality rate have marked the 2017 of these aquatic mammals. But, this situation has been warning scientists since 2010, when the number of specimens began to decrease alarmingly.

Numerous scientific studies  have focused on this issue and  have tried to determine why the number of deaths of whales has skyrocketed. One of the possible answers is that whales could be endangered by venturing out of protected areas in  search of food. In addition, it has been shown that, when an animal suffers long entanglements in  fishing nets, it suffers a high  stress, negatively affecting its ability to reproduce.

Mark Murray-Brown , consultant to NOOA’s Endangered Species Act, says the United States and Canada must work immediately to reduce  whale deaths.

With all this panorama, it is not surprising that the frank whales of the North Atlantic are among the most threatened of the great cetaceans.


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